Mr. Mom IS “The Batman”

This review of Batman makes me feel old. I think I need to implement a new rule for site contributors: do not remind me that things which I remember as epic parts of my junior high years are in fact older than you.

That said, I can’t decide if it’s a good or bad thing that the recent almost-good-enough-to-be-considered-“film” movies based on comic books make 1989’s Batman — which at the time seemed so much more mature and convincing than any comic book movie I’d ever seen — feel like a goofy circus production. Much as I admire Batman Begins and V for Vendetta, I kinda worry that they’ve set a precedent for even darker (and more serious) comics-based cinema. And as we all know, when comics try to do serious, it usually embarrasses everyone involved.

I suppose we’re safe for now — but the minute they tap Frank Miller to pen the screenplay for Howard the Duck II, all bets are off.

29 thoughts on “Mr. Mom IS “The Batman”

  1. I think the seriousness of a comic-book-based movie depends on the source material. Batman is good being serious. V for Vendetta is a very flawed movie, but it has, I think, the spirit of the novel. It all depends on the source material. I can’t think of a goofy film version of Berserk, for example.

  2. I like Batman Begins a lot. I never really got into Batman 89, or Returns, etc. They felt and looked like old people movies even back then (Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer always made me think of old people who smell like feet back then, and today also. Also, Michael Douglas, he brings to my mind that feeling of old people feet smell, it’s something hard to describe).

  3. What is it with guys in their 30s saying “that makes me feel old”? Unless you have arthritis, you are not old, just a whiner.

  4. I find it hard to accept the word of anyone born after the original airing of Transformers on television. As such, Batman through the eyes of someone so young makes me feel old…

  5. Yeah I kinda have to disagree with you Cort. Keaton wasn’t bad. Hell you even say the gives us an impression that he is a “psychotic recluse, not the angst-filled vigilante we all know and love”. To me that IS what Batman is, a nutjob with cool toys. If you want angst, you read Spider-Man.

    Besides it was leaps and bounds better than any of the Schumacher ones.

  6. I love that movie more than any other comic book movie to date.
    Jack Nicholson had some great lines in that movie.

  7. Dude, Batman doesn’t seem like a goofy circus production! It’s still my favorite comic book movie of all time, even though X2 and Batman Begins were, in fact, awesome, and I have high hopes for the Dark Knight.

    Also, I was alive when Batman came out. And in elementary school, so either I’m old, too, or you’re not that old after all.

  8. Batman Begins is fantastic. When I am alone, I talk to myself with a voice kinda like Batman’s in that movie (or Ben from Fullthrottle). It’s crazy man. That movie changed my life.

  9. I fear the day Frank Miller’s Will Eisner’s The Spirit: The Movie hits the screens.

    Maybe that’s when this comic book movie trend jumps the shark, if Rise of the Silver Surfer was not sufficient proof.

  10. I realize I may be forever ruining what small reputation for sanity I have on this site, though I’m sure I’ve already done that by not having a DS, but I really cannot stand anything about Batman Begins, and still find Batman ’89 to be the best of the Batman films.

  11. Michael – well, I am 30 AND have arthritis, so I guess I can feel old… and I do!

    I much more enjoy the ’89 version’s focus on action and kicking booty instead of spending a lot of time cramming in an emotional rebirth story. I know comics have undergone a “serious” revolution since I read them, but we’re still talking about a guy dressed up like a man-bat driving a rocket car. Drop the psychological portraits and get to the flipping, grappling hooks, body-armor abs, and witty one liners! Silliness abounds!

  12. I used to watch Batman all the time when I was younger.

    On VHS.

    Where, before the movie starts, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck will harass you about buying a Warner Brothers “ball cap.”

  13. And how about when Howard is holding a thug off the side of a building and the thug says, “Come on, man, you can’t just let me fall! I’ll die! Come on, you can’t do this!”

    Howard will get this cold look in his eyes and, before dropping the man, say “If God intends for you to fly, he will give you wings.”

  14. To be quite honest I’m rather sick of all the superhero movies. The stories are always absurd and always follow the same absurd and ridiculously unrealistic clichés. Comicbooks in recent years have had to resort to hot lesbian sex, rape and AIDS in order to appear mildly interesting at least to the “simpsons comicbook guy” types out there. It’s pathetic.
    I’d rather have more films like the original Star Wars trilogy, more stuff that gets everyone, not only nerds, excited. We need more guys like the young George Lucas. Also, The Godfather, when will anyone make a movie as good as The Godfather 1 and 2?

  15. I did not like that final sentence. It seemed to be implying something negative about Batman Returns. If a person does not acknowledge Returns as the best of the Batman films they forfeit the right to speak with any authority about them.

  16. Huh. So you mean Batman Returns is the best film of the Batman films? Or the best Batman film of the Batman films?

    Because the former is certainly arguable, while the latter is insanity.

  17. Just kidding. However, opinions are opinions. Certainly, Batman Returns is a pretty badass movie, and a wonderful work of art.

    But its infidelity to everything Batman is and was and ever will be is something half of all Batfans can never forgive.

  18. How strange that you would say Batman 89 “doesn’t depend on its source material”, and then cite source material which only predates it by two years. As if, at the time the movie came out those comics could possibly have been source material. Certainly for “Batman 2005” Miller’s Batman was a huge influence. But after eighteen years, that comic had time to enter the public consciousness, and meld with all of the other myths out there.

  19. I did pony up to that in fact. If you want to argue about just how long Batman had been dark before Batman 89, then check out Batman Yesterday Today and Beyond, they’ve got it chronicled pretty well.

    Also, pretty irrelevant but I actually don’t care for Miller’s Batman. I prefer Jeph Loeb’s.

  20. Y’know, I was 6 when Batman came out, and even back then I thought something was kind of weird with how much of a toothless dullard Batman was and how Joker seemed to act so much like the dad from The Shining. Good to know that even back then my taste was a bit more discerning. I mean, “action packed”? It was like watching an awkward teenager tripping over his own feet ll in the face of stuff like Predator or Die Hard. …man my parents let me watch some violent crap

    but if you anyone says one negative word about the animated series I will track you down and dangle you off the edge of a rooftop

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